How to Melt & Cast Pewter

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A low melting point makes pewter easy to work with.
A low melting point makes pewter easy to work with. (Image: pewter turtle image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

According to blacksmith Darrell Markewitz from the Wareham Forge in Ontario, pewter is one of the easier metals to work with thanks to its low melting point and relative fluidity. Pewter will melt and flow when exposed to nearly any heat source, including a simple cooking fire or a stove. This convenience and ease of use makes pewter a popular material for home-based model makers ready to cast their own figures.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Face shield
  • Metal ladle
  • Blowtorch
  • Molds
  • Wire cutters

Wear protective, heat-resistant gloves and a full face shield when working with pewter.

Hold your pewter pieces in a metal ladle. Using a hand-held blowtorch and run the flame over the pewter surface. The pewter will not begin to run until the whole block is melted. Continue until all the pewter has melted.

Put down the torch and firmly grasp your mold. Quickly pour your melted pewter into the hole at the top of the mold. Wait until the pewter solidifies. Depending on your type of mold, this can take up to 10 minutes. Watch the "button," the small pewter circle formed at the entrance to the mold. When this has solidified, so has the rest of the mold.

Open the mold and gently remove the pewter. Cut the button off of the mold. It can be remelted for use on other projects.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pewter will form in many types of mold including iron, brass, plaster of Paris and stone. Complex designs may require for the mold to be preheated so that the pewter does not solidify while you are still pouring.
  • All materials, including the ladle and molds, must be completely dry before melting and casting pewter. Any water can cause a violent reaction in the pewter, sending hot metal spraying out.

References

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